The comic book industry is not particularly well-known for portraying women in a non- insanely-sexualized manner (you can't fight crime without a boob window, as we have all observed over the years). Even given that, a recent Spider-Woman cover somehow managed to slink under the world's already-low expectations with the single most terrifying butt-drawing of all time. And now, after facing widespread online criticism of the psychosexual nightmare-butt, it seems that Marvel has canceled two upcoming covers from the artist responsible.
There's a lot wrong with this Spider-Woman cover, which was drawn by Milo Manara: as the Mary Sue pointed out originally, Spider-Woman is a title meant to attract women — something Marvel's been attempting to do a lot more recently, as when they announced a female Thor on The View. Depicting Spider-Woman in an anatomically impossible "seductive" pose treats her primarily as an object of sexualized gaze, and not as, you know, a superhero. You can't really court women by continuing to regurgitate tropes that subordinate their power and strength to the imperative that they look extremely sexy all the time.
According to a report from the Mary Sue, Marvel's editor-in-chief, Axel Alonso has since apologized for the image, stating that it did not "reflect the sensibility or tone of the series." And, in a new development, Milo Manara has been taken off two upcoming covers: Thor 2 and Avengers and X-Men. It's unclear why, exactly, this has happened — as Jill Pantozzi wonders at the Mary Sue, "Was the thought that these other variants might be equally offensive in their specific content, or did Marvel feel it was better to simply cancel them regardless of how they looked?"
Either way, it's pretty telling that the cover got okay'ed in the first place. And reassigning one artist isn't going to change an industry culture that prefers gazing upon asses to celebrating ass-kicking women.
Image via Marvel.